In a number of countries where the 20/20 cricket has been introduced this is the response that they have been getting from sponsors.
Because of the large crowds at cricket arenas to see the 20/20 cricket television companies appear much more eager to seek the rights to cover the matches. Here again there is a major interest on the part of sponsors.
Sponsors are keen on the television coverage because it allows for an even more extensive reach of their advertisements by way of association with the game.
In the case of the West Indies sponsors have not exactly been forthcoming in their support of cricket, and this at all levels. Everywhere there is much lamentation on the part of the respective Cricket Boards about the lack of interest of sponsors in their products at the local and regional levels.
A matter of survival
What is happening in the world of cricket today is a matter of survival.
Cricket is not the first sport to find itself in this situation nor will it be the last.
The major source of income among international sporting organisations is the sale of television rights. This is evident in the case of the quadrennial Olympics, winter and summer, and the FIFA World Cup of Football.
In pursuit of increased income from television rights sporting organisations have found themselves no longer in full control of their own sport. In many instances the television rights holders have gradually been able to use the leverage of their own financial inputs to wield influence on the very technical details of the sport.
There is little doubt that the unfortunate rule change in athletics to one false start for the entire field is a direct response to the claims by television rights holders to the delays caused by false starts. It was the same influence that caused changes in the length of the run-up in the horizontal jumps and possible changes to the length between attempts in field events.
In table tennis the colour of the ball has changed and the number of points in a si
ngle game has also been reduced.
In a sense the television has an interest in keeping to a hectic time schedule to prevent down time in their coverage of sporting events. Unfortunately, this interest which often has great sway because of the large sums of money involved in acquiring the rights does not always take into consideration the overall impact on the athlete.